As students go back to school, many families experience the pressure that buying the necessary tools, stationery, and school uniforms places on the family budget. Students themselves can feel deprived by being unable to get what they want, and feel stressed out by what awaits them in the new school year. The back to school period is an opportunity for parents to reflect on educational issues. By digging within our hearts, we can achieve a deeper understanding; open new lines of communication between ourselves and our children, and make a positive impact on their education.
Our personal values and attitudes towards teaching and learning
As parents we need to ask ourselves to what extent do our actions reflect high values and positive attitudes towards learning and education? Do children understand the importance of education, and how to show respect towards their teachers? Let us always remember that we are role models for our children; their personality, values and attitudes are formed in the light of what they hear, see, and experience in the family.
The role of the family versus the role of the school
I agree with those who believe that education is the school’s responsibility. But what is the family’s role in teaching children? I will answer this question only briefly. I believe that the minimum children have a right to is parents who monitor them and ask about them. Your questions to your children about their current state of being and level of achievement has an impact on them and their motivation. This also establishes that you are concerned and care about them. Visiting the school may leave a good impression on the teacher that you are a cooperative parent; have not overlooked your educational, role and that you share responsibility in raising the young.
Family Life & going Back to School
It is a mistake to think that achievement is only the result of a process of continuous study, perseverance, time organization, and so on. No one denies the importance of all this, but what about the role of family life in your children’s achievement? In your opinion, does your family have a positive or a negative impact on their academic achievement? Does everyone in your family feels well adapted, happy, and cohesive? Or is your family a hotbed of constant quarrels, endless rivalries and impassioned arguments? The field of educational psychology has confirmed that high academic achievement requires a healthy family environment and positive relationships between family members; especially the parents. Do we believe as parents that all we have to provide our children is food, drink and entertainment? Or should we also provide them with love, care, appreciation and understanding of their circumstances and problems, and a listening ear?
Many daily habits play a role in children’s education achievements. The most prominent of these habits, which has become increasingly so in our lives and the lives of our children, is mobile phones, tablets and other electronic devices, which become the enemy of studying and time organization. Can we, as parents, help our children to deal with these devices wisely; so that time is distributed between study, homework and free time?
In addition, poor sleeping habits and lack of sleep, as the scientific community consistently emphasizes, negatively affects studying, memory, concentration, mood and overall health. Factors that prevent children from getting enough sleep have been increasing lately. Help
your child get enough sleep: young children need on average 10 hours of sleep a night, whereas adolescents need 8-9 hours.
We need to remember that eating habits also have a role to play in academic achievement. Excessive eating, irregular eating, unbalanced and unhealthy food all have a negative impact on achievement, learning and motivation for learning. A healthy mind, as we know, needs a healthy body, which is accustomed to activity and movement, not idleness and fullness.
I agree with many parents who urge their children to achieve the best level of academic attainment and get the highest grades. However, I also call on parents to face the fact that we are not created equal in our abilities and our potentials. Let us be realistic in our demands; and let our expectations of our children be in line with their abilities and potentials. A realistic view of your children’s potential and abilities makes learning more enjoyable than tension and stress; it also creates feelings of mutual acceptance between parents and children. Your realistic view of the abilities of your children is an implicit message that you accept them as they are. The high expectations on a certain level of performance; without taking into account their unique characteristics and potential; this may result in feelings ranging from frustration and tension, to guilt, feeling inferior, and fear of failure.
What is our position as parents on our educational institutions, especially the Ministry of Education?
We know that some disagree with the Ministry of Education’s efforts to develop education. But do we think as parents that our opposition to educational initiatives such as the extension of the school day, for example; could have negative consequences on our children’s attitudes toward school, their motivation and their positive attitude towards learning? There is no doubt that what students need in today’s era of contradictions is a cohesive society that acts in one voice and has the same objective; and a family that supports the efforts of educators and experts who work long hours to bring the level of education to the level of other developed countries.
If we pause and contemplate the factors, it can help parents consider changing certain family practices that might hinder academic achievement. The new school year can be a positive start from which the family can support the school’s efforts; also stand united in facing the challenges of the present and the future.
In the end, I do not say that going back to school requires only the family’s input. The school also has a big role that this article cannot address. Teachers can look at the factors that play a crucial role in motivation and success in work; such as reconsidering personal views towards learning and education; think about their role compared to the that of the family, their perception and acceptance of individual differences between students; their role in supporting the efforts of decision-makers, and developing the current and future status of education.
By fostering a calm and encouraging family environment, having open communication and realistic expectations; you can help your children love their education and do well in the new school year.